Recently, our fish processing plant in Toledo, Oregon celebrated its first birthday, and we’re thrilled about the positive impact it’s having on the local community. Like many small Pacific Northwest towns, Toledo’s economy relied heavily on timber. And once timber production began to decline, Toledo faced its fair share of economic challenges. Thankfully, the bounty of the sea still creates economic opportunities in the area. A key part of Fishpeople’s mission is to tap into this bounty to make high quality seafood readily available, and to help boost the local economy at the same time.
That’s why we’re so excited about our Toldeo plant – because it is doing just that. We’re pleased to report that when our state-of-the art, BRC-certified facility is humming along, it’s also helping raise the standard of living in the area. Fifty percent of the plant’s employees are from Toledo, and the rest hail from the surrounding communities of Newport, Waldport, and Depoe Bay. All of our employees are full-time, and are paid a living wage with benefits.
Our Toldeo plant is also growing. Over the past year we have tripled our workforce. One year ago, our plant was running one shift per day, and now is running three shifts 24 hours a day. Plus, all of the seafood we process in Toledo is caught in America, primarily off the coasts of Oregon, Washington and Alaska. Just as important: we keep the seafood in the U.S. when we pack it, ship it, and sell it. Learn more about the state of seafood in the US in this article.
So just what are we doing in our plant? We’re getting our seafood ready to eat. Fish comes in ready to be filleted which we do by hand using ancient methods to ensure we waste as little as possible. Then we turn to the cutting edge equipment we’ve installed. And we really do mean cutting edge. A key piece of machinery is the water jet cutter, a precision tool that, according to Steve, “can cut metal or cake” into uniform pieces. Here at Fishpeople, we stick to cutting fillets into appetizing bite-size pieces, including Albacore tuna and Chinook salmon.
So, indeed, it is a Happy Birthday for the Toledo plant. We’ll be celebrating at the Wooden Boat Festival this weekend. Stop by our tent to taste our products if you haven’t had the chance yet. See you there!